sea change. or is it?

The latest news making its rounds in India - Advani. L.K. Advani, a stuanch Hindutva leader, calls Jinnah a secularist. More surprising he claims to repent for the Babri Masjid demolition.

Now, for the background. Advani belongs to the BJP, a political party that I have always considered a non-secular, separatist and religionistic party. They do make claims of secularism but the party is hand-in-glove with such Hindu organizations like the VHP and the RSS. These organizations are as religionistic as anything can get. In December,1992 a huge group of activists including leaders of the BJP, VHP, RSS and many other similar groups descended upon the Babri Masjid. The mosque was demolished entirely by this group. The reason is almost laughable - Ayodhya, the location of the mosque, is said to be the birth-place of Ram - of the Ramayana fame. So they wanted to erect a Ram temple in place of the mosque. The funny thing is that we don't know for sure if Ram was anything but a fictional character from the epic. (I am pretty I would be touching some raw nerves with this statement).

Anyway, Advani and the BJP have been so very "hindutva" that I cannot begin to describe the hatred I have for them. Oh not just hindutva, but about anything that they think has a link to Hinduism. A Hindu king, a hindu ritual, a hindu saying or a Hindu cow, sheep or goat. To these people Pakistan is the biggest enemy of all. Not just because they are a Muslim nation but because of other factors like Kashmir and what not. After Pakistan, the next enemy on their list seem to Indian Muslims. The Godhra incident, I believe, was entirely fueled by these Hindutva groups. I am sure I cannot convince of the complexity of the problem through a hundred pages.

When a statesman with such a track record visits Pakistan, that's news. The bigger news however is when he goes on record stating that the founder of Pakistan, Jinnah, espoused a secular Pakistan and that he was a great man. That statement broke the back for BJP in India. BJP's foundations - the VHP and RSS - were agitated by such a blasphemous statement from the BJP leader. Further indignation was caused when Advani said that he repented the Babri masjid demolition. Advani did not take back his words, he resigned from the BJP leadership.

If he meant every word that he said, if he really did feel sorry for what he did in 1992 he has gained my respect. I have hated everything to do with religions. I believe that though they might have been designed with the best interest, religions are nothing more than a hindrance to human life. Religion has become a blood-sucking monster that kills and preys. If this man, Advani, has indeed managed to escape the clutches of what-has-become-of-religion he is a great man.

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